Location: Columbus, Ohio, United States

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Duty Sublime and mighty name...and my water heater.

My water heater has been broken for many, many days.
This has a bit to do with me being bad at fixing water heaters and a little bit to due with my water heater being a piece of crap. That's not important.
Something funny has I still have to engage in commerce and not disgust my wife I've been showering at the gym. I feel skeezy showering at the gym and not lifting, thus every day for the last nine of worked out hard.
I'm a volunteer coach and I preach discipline and hard work to my team as well as the people who work for me in my real job...but there's something troubling if cold water moves me more than a pep talk. It reminds me of Kant's book "A critique of Practical Reason."
Emmanuel Kant wrote this...'Duty! Sublime and mighty name, that embraces nothing charming or insinuating but requires submission and yet does not seek to move the will by threatening anything that would arouse natural aversion or terror in the mind but only holds forth a law that of itself finds entry into the mind and yet gains reluctant reverence (though not always obedience)...
In essence he's saying that Duty is a higher type of motivation than others like fear, discomfort, or even just "hey I feel like it."
The question put to me, therefore, as a leader of stuff and as I guy who wants to live with excellence is twofold...why is cold water a more powerful motivator than an intrinsic desire to be excellent; likewise how can I get the people that I try to lead (be they my team or my company) to buy into a higher sense of duty.


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